Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

7,752 Ratings
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)

Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Originally brewed as a Christmas beer in 1948, this dark ale has rich flavors of mulling spices and caramel, with a smooth palate and warming finish.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2001

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Ratings: 7,752 |  Reviews: 2,363
Photo of frognot
3.38/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a dark reddish brown with a thick, creamy head that lingers

Smell: Pleasant blend of fruit, yeast and malts. However, nothing out of the ordinary.

Taste: Lots of malt with some fruit balancing it out with the warmth from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation with a lingering creaminess

Drinkability: Medium drinkability.

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Photo of jds1469
2.34/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

I was excited to find an aged bottle at a local store (only thing is they had it in the back of the cooler not at the temp of the other crafts. Got it home, popped the top, poured into my New Belgium globe...

Apperance - PERFECT, dark, rich and cloudy amber color, for an ALE this is perfect. The head was about one inch tall and went away quickly.

Smell - This reminded me of a cheap, woody cognac to start with. I actually sat this down and came back to it after a few minutes, afterwords I could still smell the woodiness but the fruit and florals started to become more prominent.

Taste - All I can say is watered down whiskey. Just NOT IMPRESSED.

Mouthfeel - TOO thin, no feel at all. It has the feel of water.

Drinkability - I would get something else. Very poor overall.

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Photo of cbgbslev
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured into a Chalice. Pours a dark color with a huge light tan head with excellent retention and lacing.

S- The aroma is a lot of dark fruits, spices, dark cherries. Amazing aroma.

T- Like the aroma is malty up front with dark fruits, spices, little yeast, and some alcohol in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is heavy bodied with a mild carbonation.

Overall, amazing beer! Great beer, highly recommend it! A bit pricey but my favorite beer.

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Photo of weatherdog
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured in a Chimay chalice

It pour a deep auburn with some yeast murkiness. A vigorous pour gives me a very generous head filling the chalice and then settling down to a nice layer of bubbles.

The nose instantly fills me with some tart cherries, much more tart than I remember from the last time I had this beer. It's a much welcome smell as it's one of my favorites in Belgian beers. Behind that some sweet malts and some yeast spice.

That tart cherry flavor doesn't transfer over to the taste very much, it is replaced with mostly some sweetness and dark fruits. On the backend I can taste some alcohol and with the sweetness and Belgian spice I'm drawing comparisons to a mildly spiced rum.

Mouthfeel is medium with a semi-dry finish and high carbonation. As the beer warmed the alcohol made itself more noticeable which dinged the drinkability a bit.

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Photo of titosupertramp
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Cloudy, murky brown. Good carbonation. No lacing to speak of.

S: Bready, dark fruit, raisin, spicy. Really enjoyable.

T: Follows the nose pretty well. A little surprised by citrus notes that show up in the taste. Raisin/prune aftertaste. Alcohol is present, but in a mild, complimentary way...if that makes sense.

M: Creamy, moderate carbonation. No alcohol burn what so ever.

D: High. Alcohol is very subdued, flavors compliment each other very well.

I really enjoyed the Grande Reserve. This is the first Chimay offering that I've had since developing an appreciation for Belgian beers and it won't be my last.

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Photo of FanofHefe
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aggressively poured into a Chimay chalice achieving a two-finger creamy tan head. Dark brown body, with great retention that leaves a silky film on top with sticky lacing along the glass.

The aroma is pleasant but not overpowering. Some dark fruit, bready yeast, and roasted malt all figure into the mix. Light notes of caramel and toffee, and a little fruity esters and alcohol.

Dense flavors that seem packed together. Plum, raisin, roasted malt, spices, and signature Belgian yeast dominate. Just enough tart in the background to keep it from being overly sweet. I get a note of chocolate as well.

Although the flavors are rich, the mouthfeel is smooth. Even more so as the brew warms up. The alcohol in the flavor is pretty well masked. Another superb Belgian.

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Photo of JT2875
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Poured into a Chalice. Pours a dark Apple Cider color with a huge light tan head with excellent retention and lacing.

S- The aroma is a lot of dark fruits such as plums and raisins, spices, dark cherries, brown sugar and mild alcohol. Excellent aroma.

T- Like the aroma is malty up front with dark fruits, spices, little yeast, and some very mild alcohol in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a mild carbonation.

D- Overall, liquid heaven! Great beer, highly recommend it! A bit pricey but something that will be in my cellar.

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Photo of HeyItsChili
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 2007 Vintage jeroboam bottle into a gigantic Chimay chalice.

A - Cordovan brown with big globlets of yeast floating throughout, capped by a substantial, puffy ecru head.

S - Essence of spices; clove is the most prominent but there's pepper in there too. Malty aroma, dark fruits, toffee.

T - Just incredible. There is a rich, delicious malt flavor mingling with warming spice and dark fruits. There's no alcohol aftertaste though it is present in the flavor.

M - Like carbonated velvet. Boom.

I gave this one all 5s. Chimay Grande Reserve is fantastic as it is, but being in the gigantic bottle changed the way this one ages somewhat and having put a few years of age on it really made it something even more special.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured into a Chimay glass. Pours a dark brown color with a huge light tan head with excellent retention and lacing.

S- The aroma is a lot of dark fruits (plum and raisin), spices, dark cherries and yeast. Very nice aroma. 

T- The taste like the aroma is malty up front with dark fruits and spices with some yeast in the finish and some warmth in the alcohol.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, Chimay Blue is my favorite of the 3 beers from Chimay without question. Great beer, highly recommended!

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Photo of Elendinn
4.81/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served at Venti's, in the bottle -- poured into a Chimay chalice, which was pretty awesome.

Pours a dark, cloudy, peachy brown. No real head to speak of, just a thin white ring around the glass.

The smell is amazing and unexpected; sweet and fruity -- apples, peaches, and oranges. Beneath that are the aromas I've come to expect from the style: malt, spice, and Belgian yeast.

The taste follows the smell: sweet and fruity, with apples, peaches, malt, and spice. Finishes pretty balanced with bready, Belgian yeast and a vinous, white wine sweetness.

The beer is fairly carbonated and medium-bodied, crisp and refreshing.

Very drinkable. It balances the dark, complex qualities I expect from a Belgian Strong Dark Ale with a sweet, crisp, and refreshing quality that makes the beer very versatile.

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Photo of wolfinthemirror
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

pours a cloudy dark brown color, looks pretty much the same as the Chimay Dubbel, lots of sediment, even when it's poured according to the instructions included in the giftpack booklet. A little bit of head, but it goes away quickly. While tilting the glass, the beer leaves a solid sheet of lacing that slowly breaks apart.

The smell is fantasic, lots of breadiness, plums, toasted caramel and toffee. It almost smells like a fruitcake, or some kind of fruity pastry.

Very bready, malty taste of exceptional smoothness. At the same time, there is candied sugar sweetness, a balancing hop presence makes itself known, along with a tartness reminiscent of a black cherry. The result is a nearly perfect equilibrium.

medium-full bodied, moderate carbonation, and unabashed smoothness. It's just so velvety, there is nothing harsh about it.

Dangerously drinkable beer due to the fact that there is no trace of the 9% abv to be found in the taste whatsoever.
The Chimay Grande Reserve really stands out from the other beers in their line up.

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Photo of bvarn
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Bubbles! Cloudy brown.

S: Fruity, sweet, malty, spicy

T: Wonderful. Spicy. A bit too sweet for me though. Alcohol content is masked well.

M: Very bubbly, feels like champagne.

D: Overall I thought this was a great beer. Very nice flavors, Incredible mouthfeel, however it was too sweet to have more than a glass at a time for me. That's probably a good thing though, considering the price.

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Photo of dfclav
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into chimay chalice

A - pours a beautiful dark brown with amber hue when held to the light. Nice active two finger head with oily lacing.

S - some fruity esters, raisins, brown sugar, mouth watering sweet malt and caramel all around.

T - delicious malty flavor with big rum soaked dark fruits. Raisins, prunes, plum. A very slight oaky taste mixed with some fresh apple and leather on the backend. A very nice bite of alcohol sits on your palate with some hops for awhile for an aftertaste.

M - very creamy, good carbonation used here. Chimay has the mouthfeel down in all of their beers so I wasn't expecting any less.

D - very filling but a delicious quad nonetheless and available all around. Price is a bit steep but I think it's worth treating yourself to one every once in awhile. They do a good gift set too with a nice chalice!

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Photo of dbossman
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Murky brown with a tough of an orange hue; big foamy tan head

S: Yeasty; a bit of fruitiness: plums, raisins, apricot, orange peel; an oak quality as well; lots of toast shining through the back end of the aromas

T: Warm alcohol hits you up front and then comes the biscuit and toast from the malty goodness; on the after taste there is a subtle fruity sweetness of dates, raisins, and orange zest; the Belgian yeast sits on the back of the tongue adding flavor to the numbing quality of the alochol

F: A good even mouth feel

D: A great drinking quad and though the alcohol is present it isn't overwhelming

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Photo of WildTurkey
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy dark brown. Thick off-white head.

S: Big malty smell, with lots of dark fruit and spice.

T: Sweet malt flavor upfront with lots of spice. Dark fruit tastes like cherry and plum. The booze is there but it's masked pretty well. Hops isn't too noticeable. This has a malt-forward profile.

M: Medium bodied,with some carbonation. Very wet and smooth.

D: Very nice. My favorite among the Chimay's. I haven't had this for a few years, but it's nice to come back to.

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Photo of mjurney
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Deep amber-brown color, cloudy. Lots of fine bubbles. Head looks very thick and creamy.

Rich malts, dark fruit, spices, a little banana.

Taste & Mouthfeel:
Very complex in flavor. Rich malts, caramel, brown sugar, faint milk chocolate. Fruity, black cherries, ripe plums, touch of banana. Spices, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon. Full bodied, creamy carbonation.

Finish & Aftertaste:
Resiny finish, slight warmth from the alcohol.

Overall Impressions:
One of the best beer in the world!!

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Photo of DaveCS
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cork is dated 05/10

Pouring this beer into a chalice I immediately smelled a sweet, fruity smell, almost like bananas. There is a smell hint of vanilla, and the alcohol is present as well. The malt smell is so delicious, the scent is making my mouth water just smelling it. The color of the beer is a little darker than I expected for a Belgium, however it is a strong dark ale, so it should have been expected. The beer is a little cloudy, but again, should be expected as it is bottle conditioned and non-filtered. The head retention is amazing, 3-4 minutes after pour I still have at least three centimeters. Tasting the beer I was a bit surprised. It was a lot crisper, cleaner, than I expected. It is very well balanced, to say the least, starts with a sweet/fruity twang than the malts mellow out to the end. I didn't really taste the alcohol until the finish, but it is present. The beer also has a warming effect on the finish, with a medium body. The carbonation in the mouth was around par, not overly abundant but still very noticeable. The creaminess of the beer, mixed with the carbonation, mixed with the body and warmth of the alcohol was really a nice combination.

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Photo of mendonjoebeer
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 ml bottle into Ommegang chalice. Cork dated 9/10. Nice pour-dark amber,somewhat cloudy,head is small but lasts a long time

I swear I smelled bananas as the beer was pouring, but did not notice after the pour.Some fruit,brown sugar,alcohol,Belgian yeast

Tastes very good to me- malt,fruit,pepper,booze- changes as beer warms up

Feels like many strong Belgians- I like feel more as beer warms

Fairly drinkable for such a strong beer

I think the temperature of the beer greatly effects the flavor & feel. I enjoy the first glass differently than the last- but good at all temps.

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Photo of jsdunlop
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a unique murky, dark reddish brown color with a bunch of yeast sediment that floats around aimlessly within my Chimay chalice glass. A thick and creamy looking 1/4 inch head forms which recedes to some tiny clumps that seem to linger around on the top of the beer. Smells of Iraqi figs picked fresh off the tree, along with distinct characteristics of dark sun-maid rasins and a strong presence of alcohol. The taste is of sweet, bold malts with definite caramel notes that are followed by a strong alcohol presence. As this brew warms up in the glass, more fruity, alcohol soaked flavors such as the distinct figs and raisins that were noticeable in the aroma become available to the tastebuds. The mouthfeel fits into the med/heavy range and is paired with a high level of carbonation that somehow blends nicely with the beer's characteristics. Definitely a beer to share with a friend, it is bold, smooth, and highly enjoyable.

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We pour from our 750 mL bottle into our snifters. The beer is the deepest orange-brown in color, with maroon streaks throughout. The tan head is soft and foamy, standing two fingers high. It retains well, leaving thick lacing as it slowly recedes. The carbonation looks to be active, and no sediment is noted. The aroma is a bouquet of sweet malts, faint esters, tangerines and apricots, clovey phenols, spicy alcohol, and floral-nectary notes. As we sip the palate is rushed with malts, bitter spice, and medicinal phenols. Through the middle esters begin to mix in, along with other fruitiness, of light pit fruits. The finish washes down with a mouthful of spicy, peppery booze, and calming, cooling sweet malts, with faint citrus. The aftertaste breathes with bitter chalkiness, from the yeast, light sugary sweetness, and a large wallop of alcohol. This helps to create a serious warming effect. The body is medium and the carbonation is light to medium. The beer sips with a syrupy feel and, while creamy, it leaves the mouth quite dry. The abv is middle of the road, and despite its assertiveness, the beer drinks smoothly.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the bright, full aroma. While the nose was complex it maintained cleanliness throughout, making it very smooth and pleasant to whiff. The subsequent taste profile did not disappoint, as it hit all the major stops throughout the sip. Finally, the nice warming end, where you feel it all down your chest and into your belly, makes this the perfect swill for a chilly winter afternoon.

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Photo of Generalataris
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Obtained the Chimay Blue in a bottle. Poured a dark iced-tea color with a 1.5 finger head. Very carbonated and off-white head.

Smelled of dark fruits: dates, raisins, maybe some fig and fruitcake.

Tasted amazing. Fruity front with lots of malts in the middle and very slight and pleasant alcohol warmth at the finish.

Incredible Trappist.

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Photo of BatDaddy
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Poured into a snifter.

A - Pours a deep orange brown with a fluffy billowing off-white head that hangs around a good bit before settling down to a nice ring of foam around the edges.

S - Sweetness. Candied fruits, brown sugar. Some dark fruit along with apple. Touch of yeast and a touch of alcohol.

T - Dark fruits and spice. It's sweet but a subdued sweetness - less than what I expected from the nose. A bit earthy. Dry. There's some spicy alcohol that tickles your throat on the the finish. Really tasty.

M - Dry and bubbly but still smooth and a bit chewy.

D - Good. Certainly a sipper, but it's so good you have to force yourself to only sip and not guzzle.

I still have to learn patience when bringing these up to serving temp - or store them a bit warmer. The flavors and mouthfeel really didn't start showing their true colors until I was halfway done with my glass.

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Photo of MNJR
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Translucent brown color, minimal head - like cola, bubbles up and fades to nothing quickly. Very little lacing. Smells of earth, wine, brown sugar, molasses, prune, plum, cherry, mint, orange... ...yeah, very complex. Tastes of the same: molasses up front, fruit in the background, spice and mint, rich earth flavors. Mouthfeel: very tight carbonation, rich texture, smooth body, chewy and thick on the palate, but washes down nicely in the gullet . A singular beer experience. A high class, high quality beer. Don't hesitate: try it if you ever get the chance.

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Dark burnt orange brown and tan. Very carbinated during pour, huge creamy head that died rather fast. Lots of fermentation at bottom of bottle.

Smell - Nice bubblegum fruit smell. Malts and barley are present. Banana and grapefruit comes out also. Also you can smell the alcohol a little more then the other chimays

Taste - Bolder, thicker and malt and barley heavier then the others, this has a nice flavor. Its smooth still, and not overpowering. The brown sugar and spices add some sweetness to a bold dark ale.

Mouthfeel - Its thicker but still it doesnt ruin mouth. Leaves a coating on tounge, warms palette up with the alcohol and leaves mouth a little dry.

Drinkabilty - Its a smooth and tasty dark ale. Has nice bold flavors but the alcohol is strong enough that 1 or 2 and done is ample amount. Might be my favorite chimay, and is a great example of the style.

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Photo of smurder187
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The big brother of the Chimay beers, the blue is the highest in alcohol content and doesn't hide it. The deer amber red color and cherry/orange scent don't give it away. Once you take a sip a variety of fruit notes hit the tongue with a malty finish, but what is most noticeable for me is a distinct liquor heat on the mouth. It's a tasty, well blended sensation that goes down smooth and maintains a lingering upbeat attitude on the taste buds.

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,752 ratings.
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